How effective is Facebook’s Audience Network? A new study by Fiksu looked at the Audience Network performance of eight of its clients, finding that Audience Network ads outperformed News Feed and display in key areas such as average revenue per user and conversion rate.
While News Feed ads brought the highest percentage of returning users (65.16 percent), Audience Network was stronger than display at 58.55 percent. Fiksu also found that the cost per purchasing user for the Audience Network was roughly a fifth of display.
Prepare to hear that term a lot more as Facebook develops ad targeting and measurement platforms like Atlas, LiveRail and the Audience Network. Facebook has shifted its focus from providing advertising at scale to providing an an ad solution where companies can target the right consumers.
In a whiteboard session Wednesday, Facebook explained to reporters the history and future of their advertising platform. With Atlas, large-scale advertisers can measure deeper and weigh effectiveness of Facebook ads against other types of messaging. With the Audience Network, advertisers can target their customers on external sites, using the same information they have on Facebook. With LiveRail, publishers have been able to more effectively leverage video as an ad option.
It all leads to Facebook aiming for a bite of the television ad apple.
Facebook on Tuesday announced the games of the year, with SGN’s Cookie Jam taking the top honor. Kim Kardashian’s game, as well as titles featuring Family Guy and Star Wars were also on the list. King, maker of Candy Crush Saga, had several games honored by Facebook.
The company is also making it easier for players to find popular games, and game genres will be more evident.
Facebook’s Daniel Morris discussed the top games in a blog post:
It’s that time of year where we highlight the games on Facebook that define our platform and captivate our players. 2014 saw a revival of the classic match-3 puzzle genre and the continued health of the social casino category. New game launches from Asia and Europe continue to grow, bringing both new ideas and cherished, recognizable brands to the Facebook platform.
The games on these lists were selected based on player ratings, strength of Facebook implementation, growth, and overall quality.
Facebook on Tuesday introduced some new ways to incentivize advertisers to use mobile app ads. Through mobile app ads, Facebook claims that advertisers will have more reliable reach and frequency. Eligible mobile app ads with video will also play automatically in News Feed.
Additionally, advertisers can now target users on Amazon Fire tablets.
Facebook’s Jun Li wrote about how advertisers can achieve more predictable reach and frequency through mobile app ads:
We’re enabling the ability to buy mobile app ads with a highly predictable reach and frequency. What this means is that now mobile app advertisers can purchase highly predictable unique reach with managed frequency across the lifetime of the campaign. For example, advertisers can set their app ad campaign to reach 5 Million people with a frequency cap of 3 impressions per person for 1 week. Because reach and frequency optimizes first and foremost for unique reach, it is most effective for campaigns with brand awareness objectives, such as an app launch or important app update. For all other times during your ad campaign, you should use oCPM for installs.
Facebook attracts more than a billion mobile users each month and 66 percent of its revenues come from this channel. In fact, mobile users spend 20 percent of their mobile time on Facebook!
Facebook’s success on mobile, whether from the point of view of the audience size or monetization, is unparalleled.
Instagram and WhatsApp (acquired respectively in April 2012 and February 2014) are two other social apps also with phenomenal audience success, although several notches below. They’re not profit centers yet and will not be discussed here.
What about the blue giant’s mobile diversification strategy beyond the main app and purchased successes?
Facebook, as has been said myriad times, is a mobile company. Mobile advertising is a cornerstone of the company’s revenue, so Spongecell wanted to find out how often and why people engage with mobile ads on the site.
Spongecell found that 75 percent of Americans polled who are on social media and would interact with an ad said they are most likely to do so with a mobile ad on Facebook. Additionally, 33 percent of Facebook users polled who saw advertisements relevant to them said they’d go to the brand’s website for more information or to make a purchase.
Spongecell CEO Ben Kartzman discussed the need for relevant, targeted advertising on Facebook and other social channels:
It’s clear personalized ads are effective in driving consumer engagement. Marketers need to embrace dynamic creative technology, such as the kind Spongecell offers, to give consumers what they want, when they want it. With dynamic creative, advertisers can deliver personalized content to consumers, creating a more engaging ad experience and more impactful brand campaigns.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long talked about Facebook Groups being the next big point for innovation within the company. It looks like that time comes today, as Facebook Creative Labs announced a new app for iOS and Android users, Facebook Groups.
With the Facebook Groups app, users can see and post in their groups, as well as easily create new groups.
Facebook Product Manager Shirley Sun described the app in a blog post:
People use Facebook Groups every day to stay in touch with family, collaborate on projects, plan trips and offer support to friends.
Today, we’re introducing a new Facebook Groups app that helps people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life. We built this app with the people who use Groups the most in mind, like:
- Students from Donda’s House, an arts nonprofit in Chicago, who use groups to stay in touch during and after a 12-week music program
- A class of dental students in Brazil who use a group to post notes and reminders about upcoming tests and due dates
- Nine best friends spread out across Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and England who use a group to keep connected
Facebook Messenger — the standalone app where Facebook users check messages — has hit 500 million monthly active users, the company announced Monday.
The controversial app, which was attacked for confusingly-worded and scary-sounding permissions, launched in 2011 and has grown considerably. Nearly half of Facebook’s 1.35 billion users now have the Messenger app on their phone.
Facebook’s Peter Martinazzi, Director of Product Management, wrote a Newsroom post about Messenger’s newest milestone:
Today more than 500 million people are using Messenger each month and we’re more committed than ever to make it the best possible messaging experience.
Messenger was the first of our standalone apps, and unlike our core Facebook apps, it focused on one use case – messaging. With Messenger, you can reach people instantly. It is just as fast as SMS but gives you the ability to express yourself in ways that SMS can’t. You can send stickers or videos, take selfies, chat with groups and make free calls. We’ve also continued to improve speed and reliability. Updates to Messenger ship every two weeks so it continues to evolve and improve.
If you’re just starting to think about your holiday Facebook ad campaign, you may be too late. Facebook Marketing Partner SocialCode shows that taking an early, proactive approach to targeting shoppers for the holidays can give advertisers the best bang for their buck.
SocialCode found that the CPM of News Feed advertising is at its lowest of the holiday season in late October/early November, steadily rising until its peak on Black Friday (for desktop) and, for mobile, Cyber Monday.
While Android has imaginative names for their operating systems, such as Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich, that’s not how Facebook engineers classify Android devices.
In a blog post, Facebook’s Chris Marra and Daniel Weaver explains how Facebook optimizes its experience on Android by breaking up devices by year:
We call this new concept “year class” – essentially, in what year would a given device have been considered “high end” in? This allows teams around the company to segment the breadth of Android devices into a more understandable set of buckets, and as new phones are released, they’re automatically mapped into the representative year. For example, the Alcatel T-Pop I bought at a market in Mexico is immediately recognized as a 2010-class phone, despite its 2012 release. Overall, about two-thirds of the phones connected to Facebook are equivalent to something released in 2011 or earlier.